person picking white and red book on bookshelfHow will readers find your book?

One of the most important things to figure out when trying to market your book is the reader’s path to purchase. ThisĀ is the journey they go on from first discovering that your book exists to getting a copy and reading it.

As a writer you’re also a reader. (Or you should be!) So do your market research on yourself. This is all the more relevant if you like to read the same kind of books you like to write.

Write down the last three books you read – new, old, borrowed, found – and try this quiz. Tick as many of the boxes that are relevant.

Then figure out:

  1. What would have made it easier to find the book?
  2. What would have made it easier to buy the book?
  3. If you didn’t buy it, how can you remove those barriers from your own book?

Different books need different forms of marketing to reach different audiences. Your audience may be on social media and heavily influenced by other social media users. Or they may be infrequent internet users and more likely to be reading the book pages of a newspaper or magazine.

They may regularly walk past a bookshop, keeping an eye out for unusual covers. Or they may be members of a book group and make a group decision on what book to try.

If you can “walk in your readers’ footsteps” you’ll waste far less time, effort and money trying to promote your book in ways your readers may never see.